Ove Ronny Haraldsen
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KONGSBERG Female Forum achieved a lot of attention when it was held in December. Ninety women were gathered to mark the kick-off of a new effort to promote women in KONGSBERG. The goal is to make the share of women in management positions reflect what it is in the company as a whole.
“For starters, it is very important for us to have a strategy. We have called this strategy 2020, and it means that we now have set clear and measurable goals that have been broken down into the areas we think are most important”, says Wenche H. Andersen, Chief Administration Officer in KONGSBERG.
“There are many ways of achieving this. Having a forum like this where we can meet and use our network is one way. Another way is to start work in primary and lower secondary school and thereby try to establish a recruitment base for women. These women may then become future managers”, says Andersen.
The share of women in management positions on levels 1–3 is currently 18 per cent. A systematic effort is now being carried out to raise this share to a level that reflects the overall share of women in the group. At present, the women’s share in KONGSBERG is 20 per cent.
Hans Petter Blokkum, Group Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Corporate HR, presented KONGSBERG’s strategy for raising the share of women in management positions to the participants.
Female managerial talents will have the opportunity to take part in internal mentoring schemes, meet role models, participate in Kongsberg Female Forum and Female Future, which is organised by the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO), were some of the concrete measures to be presented.
“In 2015, we established clear ambitions regarding the number of female summer students, female participation in management development courses and number of female successor candidates”, explained Hans Petter Blokkum.
We want higher diversity, and the development will be followed up closely by the board going forward”, says board member Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen.
“Diversity is important for any organisation. Achieving gender balance, more or less, is vital for the company to ensure creativity, value creation and development. KONGSBERG has performed well until now despite a relatively low women’s share. However, this will be crucial in the future”, says Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen, former Secretary of State and current board member in KONGSBERG.
During Kongsberg Female Forum, the participants shared and discussed female managerial experiences in KONGSBERG. Among the people on stage were Egil Haugsdal, President of Kongsberg Maritime, who gave good advice for succeeding as a manager. The audience could also enjoy scientist Anne Grethe Solberg present research and personal experiences regarding women and management.